Kuala Lumpur

Travel Guide Asia Malaysia Kuala Lumpur



Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Twin Towers

© Hien

Kuala Lumpur (/ˈkwɑːlə lʊmˈpʊər/) is the capital and the largest city of Malaysia and is internationally known for the Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2003 and are the tallest twin towers on earth. Located in the middle of the west coast, the city is the centre of many things in Malaysia. It began with the discovery of tin in the 1850s at the confluence of the Gombak and Klang rivers. Hence it is the place of the discovery that gave the city its name, which means muddy (Malay: lumpur) confluence (kuala).

KL, as it is commonly referred to, has a good mix of old and new. From the old British colonial government and pre-war buildings, to the newly built skyscrapers and shopping complexes, KL has a unique blend of virtually everything for everyone. The combination of Old City Centre, Brickfields, Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Chow Kit and Kampung Baru, which has a rich history, is also known as the Diamond Triangle.




  • Old City Centre - This is the traditional core of Kuala Lumpur where you’ll find the former colonial administrative centre, with the Merdeka Square, Sultan Abdul Samad Building and Selangor Club. This district also includes Kuala Lumpur’s old Chinese commercial centre which everyone refers to now as Chinatown.
  • Golden Triangle - Kuala Lumpur's equivalent of a Central Business District (CBD) located to the north-east of the Old City Centre. The area is brimming to the seams with shopping malls, bars and five-star hotels, along with the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.
  • Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Chow Kit and Kampung Baru - Located to the west of the Golden Triangle and an extension of the Old City Centre. Home to modern shopping malls, traditional street markets and budget accommodation options. Kampung Baru, the last Malay village of Kuala Lumpur, is a food paradise of street stalls and restaurants in traditional kampung setting.
  • Brickfields - This area, located south of the city centre, is Kuala Lumpur’s Little India filled with saree shops and banana leaf rice restaurants. Kuala Lumpur’s main railway station, KL Sentral, is located here.
  • Bangsar and Midvalley - Located south of the city, Bangsar is a popular restaurant and clubbing district while Mid Valley, with its Megamall, is one of the city’s most popular shopping destinations.


There are several suburbs surrounding the city of Kuala Lumpur, which together with the city itself form a large metropolitan area known as the Klang Valley, named after a river that flows through the city.

  • Ampang - Located east of the city, Ampang is home to Kuala Lumpur’s Little Korea and most foreign embassies and high commissions.
  • Petaling Jaya
  • Puchong
  • Kajang
  • Selayang
  • Serdang
  • Seri Kembangan
  • Shah Alam
  • Subang Jaya



Sights and Activities

Petronas Twin Towers

The Petronas Twin Towers are icons, not only of Kuala Lumpur but also modern Malaysia, and no visit to KL is complete without a visit to the twin towers. Standing at 451.9 metres tall, the 88 storey Petronas Twin Towers were the tallest buildings from 1998 to 2004 in the world. Connecting the two towers on Levels 41 and 42 is a double-deck skybridge, 170 metres above ground. The lower section of the skybridge is open to all visitors while the upper section is reserved for tenants only. Beneath the towers are a large shopping centre, cinemas, restaurants and cafés. Right behind is a 7-hectare park with fountain, children's wading pool and jogging trail. The towers were featured in the 1999 film Entrapment starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones where a scene took place on top of the skybridge. Those who wants to see bird eyes view of the city could buy a ticket (RM80) to get on the skybridge and observation deck.

Adjacent to the towers is the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre where beneath the building is the Aquaria KLCC. Located on the concourse level, the 6,000 m² aquarium features a 90-metre-long underwater tunnel and over 250 different species of land animals and marine life from Malaysia and around the world.

Kuala Lumpur Tower

KL Tower

KL Tower

© claireh

Another famous icon of the city, KL Tower (Malay: Menara KL) is a telecommunications tower with a structural height of 421 metres above ground level. Built in 1995 on Bukit Nanas (literally pineapple hill), it is the seventh tallest tower in the world. Because it sits on top of a hill, its height is at 515 metres above sea level, which is higher than the Petronas Twin Towers.

The observation deck at 276 metres above ground level (not counting the height of the hill) provides an excellent aerial view of Kuala Lumpur. It has been said that one can even see the Strait of Malacca from the tower on a perfect clear day. There is also a revolving restaurant which provides breathtaking views while you indulge on a sumptuous buffet of Malaysian delicacies.

Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve

Surrounding the KL Tower is the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve. Gazetted in 1906, it is one of the oldest forest reserves in the country. It covers an area of about 11 hectares and is the only remaining tropical rainforest in the heart of the city of Kuala Lumpur.

The entrance is on Jln Raja Chulan opposite the church. In the reserve is a 100+ year old Jelutong tree (Dyera Costulata) standing right next to the tower. Along the trails around the rainforest you could see different species of trees, colourful butterflies, insects, tropical birds, squirrels and macaque monkeys. You may need to take mosquito repellant.

Batu Caves

Enterance to the Batu Caves

Enterance to the Batu Caves

© Andrew995

The Batu Caves are a series of caves on a limestone hill formed millions of years ago. The caves are located 13 kilometres north of the city of Kuala Lumpur. The biggest cave has been made into a Hindu temple in 1891. To reach the cave, one has to climb a staircase of 272 steps, but it's worth every ounce of energy used. There are many macaque monkeys around, take care because they are known to grab bags, cameras etc when looking for food. Outside of the main cave stands the statue of Lord Murugan (Tamil: முருகன்), a popular Hindu deity amongst Tamil Hindus and the most important deity to be worshiped at the temple cave. Every year, over a million Hindu devotees and visitors throng the temple for the Thaipusam celebrations, which falls between mid-January to early February. It is an eye-opening event with so many visitors all travelling to the site, it must not be missed if you visit Kuala Lumpur during this time of year.

Central Market

Located just a few minutes away from Chinatown, Central Market was once the largest wet market in Kuala Lumpur. This 1936 Art Deco building was converted into a centre of arts and crafts in the mid-1980s. Since then, it is also known as Pasar Seni in Malay, which means Art Market, and houses a variety of shops selling local arts, locally hand crafted souvenirs, batik, antiques, clothes and souvenirs.

Lake Gardens

The Lake Gardens is the oldest and most popular park in Kuala Lumpur. This manicured garden was once home to the British colonial officials. Within this 92-hectare park is a lake surrounded by lush greenery and a few other attractions, all within walking distance:

Blue peacock

Blue peacock

© Wardsan

  • Kuala Lumpur Bird Park - Covering an area of approximately 8.4 hectares (21 acres), the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is reputed to be one of the largest covered aviary park in the world. Located in a large green lung in the city centre, this huge free-flight walk-in bird cage houses about 800 birds of over 50 local and foreign species living in a balanced and semi-natural, man-made environment. These birds have adapted so well that they are able to build their own nests and breed naturally. While many birds roam freely across the park, certain species such as the hornbills and parrots are confined in separate large sections within the aviary to ensure visitors will not miss the chance to see them. Other main attractions include the Indian Blue Peacocks, Crowned Pigeons, Yellow-billed Storks and flamingos. Time your visit to coincide with the feeding session of the birds. Entry is expensive, RM45 for adults.
  • Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park - Home to around 6,000 butterflies of over 120 species. Located behind the KL Bird Park and near the Lake Gardens, the park is entirely covered by net and landscaped with more than 15,000 plants to resemble a rainforest and to create a natural habitat for the butterflies.
Orchid Garden, Kuala Lumpur

Orchid Garden, Kuala Lumpur

© claireh

  • Kuala Lumpur Orchid Garden - Located on top of a hill opposite the KL Bird Park. This one-hectare floral paradise contains over 800 varieties of orchids. During the weekend, cut flowers and plants are available for sale at the garden. Within the Orchid Garden is the Hisbiscus Garden. This garden contains many varieties of hibiscus, including the national flower of Malaysia, known as bunga raya in Malay. Entry to the Orchid Garden is free during the weekdays while a nominal fee is charged during the weekends.
  • Kuala Lumpur Deer Park - Built in a 2 hectare enclosure near the famous KL Bird Park, the KL Deer Park is not well known among tourists. Some deers are imported from Holland while the world’s smallest hoofed animal - the mousedeer is sourced from neighbouring South East Asian countries. The mousedeers are kept in a cage, near to the entrance at the garden side.
  • Carcosa Seri Negara - Carcosa Seri Negara is a government-owned luxury hotel within the Lake Gardens. Situated on two adjacent hills, the hotel includes two colonial mansions, one named Carcosa, the other Seri Negara (formerly King's House). Built in 1897 and 1913 respectively, the buildings were official residence of top British colonial officers to Malaya. Upon independence in 1957, they were given to the British Government, "as a token of goodwill of the Malayan people to Her Majesty's Government," and they became the official residence to the British High Commissioners. The buildings were returned to the Malaysian Government in 1987 after which they were converted into a luxury hotel. Carcosa Seri Negara have been the official residence for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip during their visits to Kuala Lumpur. One of Carcosa Seri Negara's trademarks is the traditional English afternoon tea, served daily in the elegant drawing room, or on the charming wrap-around verandah, overlooking the beautiful gardens.

The hotel has been out of business since the end of 2015. The building is no longer accessible to the public.

Sunway Lagoon

Sunway Lagoon is a theme park located in a neighbouring township south-west of Kuala Lumpur. It consists of five different themed parks: Amusement Park, Extreme Park, Water Park, Wildlife Park, Scream Park. Built on a former tin mining pool, the 80-acre park offers all the adventure and excitement you could want from a theme park and water park put together. With its own hotel resort, shopping mall and cinema located within the complex, it will have something to keep people of all interests and ages entertained. Sunway Lagoon is easily accessible by public transportation. It takes only about 15 to 20 minutes drive from the KL city centre to get there via the Federal Highway.

Museums and Galleries

  • Islamic Arts Museum - The Islamic Arts Museum located on Jalan Lembah Perdana near the Lake Gardens is South East Asia's largest museum of Islamic Art. It houses more than 7,000 artefacts representing the Islamic world. The museum has various themed galleries and two of the more popular ones are the Islamic Architecture Gallery which showcases miniature models of famous buildings/mosques from the Islamic world, and the Al-Quran/Manuscript Gallery which has a collection of more than 200 Islamic manuscripts including a rare Quran from the Ming dynasty.
  • National Art Gallery - The National Art Gallery (Balai Seni Lukis Negara) showcases art pieces and exhibitions by local and overseas artists. The art gallery is located on Jalan Tun Razak, right next to the National Theatre (Istana Budaya).
  • National History Museum - The National History Museum located on Jalan Raja has been operational since 1996 and showcases various artifacts and materials that depict Malaysia's wealth of historical heritage. Some of the important items displayed are the table on which 1874 Pangkor treaty was signed, the Malayan flag (raised on the night of 31 August 1957 to signal the independence of the country), a 40,000-year-old homo-sapiens skull, a 520-million-year-old metamorphic sandstone and a gold coin dating back to the 15th century.
  • National Museum - The National Museum (Muzium Negara) was set up in 1963 to preserve and depict Malaysia's rich cultural heritage. This museum located on Jalan Damansara has a main central hall and various galleries which provide valuable insights into the evolution and development of modern Malaysia.
  • Telecommunications Museum - The Telecommunications Museum is the first interactive museum in Malaysia and is located on Jalan Gereja. Housed in a 70-year-old two-storey building, this museum traces the over 120 years of telecommunications development in the country, starting from the initial Morse code telegraph to the cell phones and digital networks of today. Address: Jalan Gereja, Kuala Lumpur, Hours: 09:00-17:00
  • Museum of Asian Art - The Museum of Asian Art is situated in the University of Malaya, the oldest university in Malaysia. Considered a cultural gem, the museum showcases over 6,000 pieces of artefacts, mainly ceramics that come from the three largest ethnic groups in the country: Malay, Chinese and Indian. The museum also showcases the unique material aesthetic, and intellectual achievements of Asian art and culture, including Chinese pottery Hindu statuary, textiles from the Malay archipelago, and sacred masks of Orang Asli communities in 1,500 squares feet of gallery space.

Other Sights and Activities

in KL

in KL

© NothPole

  • Chinatown (Petaling Street)
  • Jamek Mosque (Masjid Jamek)
  • Malayan Railway Administration Building (KTMB)
  • National Monument (Tugu Negara)
  • Old Railway Station - The Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station is a Mughal style building. It was designed by British colonial architect, Arthur Benison Hubback and was completed in 1910. This station was Kuala Lumpur's main rail hub until KL Sentral station took over this role in 2001. Nowadays this building is a little bit neglected and can be difficult to reach because of all the surrounding traffic.
  • Sri Mahamariamman Temple
  • Sultan Abdul Samad Building (the clock tower)
  • Thean Hou Temple



Events and Festivals

Cultural and Religious

  • [listing name=Chinese New Year type=event]Chinese make up about a quarter of the total population of Kuala Lumpur, and in honour of the Chinese New Year, Malaysia has declared the first two days of the new year public holidays. On the 15th day of the new year, which is also the last day of the festival, several shops at Chinatown will hire professional lion dance troupes to perform at their premises. One can expect to see lions performing amazing stunts, jumping from pole to pole of up to three metres tall. The highlight is usually the last performance of the day, hired by the Kiew Brothers shop (look for the boxing chicken logo) which sells dried meat. The troupe usually start to assemble the poles on the road in front of the shop at about 5:00pm. Be there around that time to get a good view when the performance starts at about 6:00pm, as the crowd will only grow bigger.
  • Mid-Autumn Festival - Alternatively known as the Moon Festival, Lantern Festival or Mooncake Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival. During this festival, people eat "moon cakes", which are a small dessert cake filled with ground lotus, sesame seeds, and egg yolk. Along with the dessert, visitors will enjoy colorfully decorated streets and lanterns of many shapes and sizes. This harvest festival for the farmers also has two stories linked to it: a mythical legend and a folklore tale. The legend is about Chang'e in Chinese mythology involving Houyi, the Archer; Chang'e, the mythical Moon Goddess of Immortality; an emperor, either benevolent or malevolent; an elixir of life; and the Moon. The folklore tale is about an uprising in China against the Mongol rulers of the Yuan Dynasty (1280-1368) in the 14th century. Because gathering of people were banned, a rebellion against the Mongols was planned by inserting a piece of paper containing the message into the mooncake, which the Mongols do not eat, and widely distributed to the people in conjunction with the festival. On the night of the festival, the rebels successfully attacked and overthrew the Mongol rulers. What followed was the establishment of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Dates of this festival vary every year with the moon, but it typically occurs in September.
  • Hari Raya Aidil Fitri - This Muslim festival marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan and is celebrated by 60% of the population in Kuala Lumpur. The first two days are public holidays, and most people take extra days off to spend time with family and visit relatives and friends. Event takes place the end of September each year. During the Hari Raya (or Eid as it is known in the Middle East), Kuala Lumpur's streets will be almost free of traffic and most attractions are closed for at least two days. Those wanting to try Malay traditional cuisines can flock to the official residence of the Prime Minister.
  • Thaipusam - This annual Hindu festival commemorates the birthday of lord Murugan. Over a million devotees and visitors participate in a 15-kilometre walk from Sri Maha Mariaman to the Batu Caves as an act of gratitude or penance for wrong-doing. Many of the devotees have some kind of offering attached to their body by metal hooks, or others bring offerings of milk carried in jugs on their heads. This event occurs every year in January.
  • Deepavali (Diwali) - Deepavali is a significant Hindu festival, also known as the Festival of Lights, that celebrates the victory of good over evil. For Hindu's, this is the most important celebration of the year. Celebrated every year in October, this event marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year.
  • Christmas - Kuala Lumpur is a somewhat of a culture melting-pot, with the 2000 census indicating that almost 10% of the city's population are practicing Christians. Christmas is celebrated as the joyous day of Christ's birth, and it has been declared as a public holiday in Malaysia. As with other major celebrations, shopping centres in the city will try to outdo one another in the decorating their premises for Christmas.
  • Other Events and Festivals

    • International Water Festival - This event celebrates all things water; from water conservation to a variety of water sports, this event will definitely cool you off! Visitors can expect to see dynamic water shows (jet ski and kayak races, etc.), water parades, and a beautiful fireworks display. This festival is held every year in the spring (typically in March).
    • Food and Fruit Festival - Kuala Lumpur is one of the best cities to host a food festival because of its wide variety of cultures and cuisines from all over Asia. This foodie event is sure to satisfy and intrigue all types of palates with culinary offerings from some of the best chefs in the region. This event takes place every July.
    • Malaysian Mega Sale Carnival - As one of the shopping capitols in the country, Kuala Lumpur features some of the best sales of the year during the months of March, August, and December. Many retail outlets offer unbeatable sales during these months, and in recent years hotels and restaurants have joined the festivities, offering special deals and discounts as well.
    • Hari Merdeka Parade (31 Aug 2013) - August 31st commemorates Malaysia's independence. One of the largest celebrations held on this day occurs in Merdeka Square, where a grand parade is held every year.
    • Rainforest World Music Festival - This 3-day annual festival is one of the regions most popular events and features a line-up of folk and world music bands. Even if you're not a fan of this style of music, this festival is worth stopping-by just to experience the culture and cuisine that is also offered to visitors. This festival is held every year in July or August in the Sarawak Cultural Village.

    Sporting Events

    • Le Tour de Mangkawi - Malaysia's version of the Tour de France features some of the top bicycle racers from the region and around the globe. This challenging 2,000-kilometre-long route challenges the endurance and athleticism of anyone that enters. Various kinds of entertainment and food/drink stands will be available for spectators. This event takes place over a week in February/March.
    • F1 Malaysia Grand Prix - This popular racing event comes to the Sepang circuit near Kuala Lumpur every Spring (typically in March). Visitors can expect big crowds and lots of fanfare accompanying this event. Local retailers offer huge sales to all of the tourists that flood the city during this time of year.
    • Malaysian MotoGP - An exciting motorcycle racing event held every year in Kuala Lumpur. Race fans will not be disappointed by the energy at this event.
    • Kuala Lumpur International Marathon - During this this fun marathon event, racers will run through the streets of Kuala Lumpur while being cheered on by thousands of spectators. Race entry fees support local charities.
    • Kuala Lumpur Base Jump - An annual event, you can watch daredevil BASE jumpers from over 20 countries use parachutes to jump from the Kuala Lumpur Towers.




    The average temperature during the day can easily reach as high as 34 °C and could drop to as low as 22 °C during the night or after a thunderstorm. Higher or lower temperatures are actually extremely rare and variations throughout the year are extremely low. The average highs range from 31.5 °C in December to 33.2 °C in March, while average lows range from 22.5 °C in January to 23.9 °C in May. Thunderstorms could come in less than an hour without warning during wet season and even though it seldom lasts for more than two hours, flash floods could occur a few times a year, and the traffic would come to a standstill. Average annual precipitation is around 2,400mm with the wettest months being October to December and March/April, with around 250mm a month. June and July are the driest with about half that amount.

    Avg Max32.1 °C32.9 °C33.2 °C33.1 °C32.9 °C32.7 °C32.3 °C32.3 °C32.1 °C32.1 °C31.6 °C31.5 °C
    Avg Min22.5 °C22.8 °C23.2 °C23.7 °C23.9 °C23.6 °C23.2 °C23.1 °C23.2 °C23.2 °C23.2 °C22.9 °C
    Rainfall169.5 mm165.4 mm240.9 mm259.2 mm204.4 mm125.3 mm127.2 mm155.7 mm192.8 mm253.1 mm287.8 mm245.7 mm
    Rain Days11121416139101113161815



    Getting There

    By Plane

    There are two airports serving the Kuala Lumpur metropolitan area, Klang Valley.

    The airport is linked to the city centre via an express train service which takes only 28 minutes compared to an hour by car or bus. Although not heavily publicised, the KL airport is actually over 60 kilometres away from the city centre. Star Shuttle bus goes from both terminals to Chinatown to the old Pudu Raya (now called Pudu Sentral) bus terminal at plattform 5 (you can get the ticket at that plattform, at the airport inside at a counter, their website is only partly working), all the way by motorway and about 90 minutes, 12 Ringit.

    • Subang Airport (IATA: SZB, ICAO: WMSA) (officially Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport) - Located 15 minutes away from the city centre in the KL suburb of Subang, it was formerly the main airport of the country before the new KLIA was built. It now serves mostly turboprop flights operated by FireFly and other private airlines.

    By Train

    The Malayan Railway (Malay: Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM)) is the operator of the rail services in the peninsula.

    • Train No. 01 (Ekspres Rakyat) Butterworth - Kuala Lumpur - Singapore
    • Train No. 02 (Ekspres Rakyat) Singapore - Kuala Lumpur - Butterworth
    • Train No. 03 (Ekspres Sinaran Utara) Butterworth - Kuala Lumpur * Service suspended from 17 March 2008 until further notice.
    • Train No. 04 (Ekspres Sinaran Utara) Kuala Lumpur - Butterworth * Service suspended from 17 March 2008 until further notice.
    • Train No. 05 (Ekspres Sinaran Pagi) Kuala Lumpur - Singapore
    • Train No. 06 (Ekspres Sinaran Petang) Singapore - Kuala Lumpur
    • Train No. 07 (Ekspres Langkawi) Hat Yai - Butterworth - Kuala Lumpur
    • Train No. 08 (Ekspres Langkawi) Kuala Lumpur - Butterworth - Hat Yai
    • Train No. 11 (Ekspres Senandung Malam) Kuala Lumpur - Singapore
    • Train No. 12 (Ekspres Senandung Malam) Singapore - Kuala Lumpur
    • Train No. 16 (Ekspres Wau) Kuala Lumpur - Gemas - Tumpat
    • Train No. 17 (Ekspres Wau) Tumpat - Gemas - Kuala Lumpur
    • Train No. 18 (Gading Mas) Kuala Lumpur - Gemas - Tumpat
    • Train No. 19 (Gading Mas) Tumpat - Gemas - Kuala Lumpur

    The Malayan Railway changed a bit lately:

    • The line north to Butterworth and Sungai Petani (Thai border) is now electrified and faster, you have to change train at the border and in Hat Yai if you want to go to Bangkok by train.
    • The line south to to Johore Bahru ends now close to the Singapore border and you have to change train in Gemas or in Pulau Sebang/Tampin.
    • There are now no overnight train except the train from Johore Bahru to Kota Bahru on the east side of Malaysia (not through Kuala Lumpur).

    It is possible to buy te tickets online but you have to enter each segment of your trip separatly, it is also better if you register with Malayan Railway.

    By Car

    Kuala Lumpur is connected by the North-South Expressway (NSE) that runs along the states on the west coast. The NSE Northern Route (E1) starts from the Malaysia-Thailand border at Bukit Kayu Hitam until Kuala Lumpur. The NSE Southern Route (E2) begins from the Malaysia-Singapore border at Johor Bahru and ends at Kuala Lumpur.

    From the east coast states, the East Coast Expressway (E8) starts from Kuantan and runs through inner Pahang before it ends at Gombak, north of Kuala Lumpur.

    By Bus

    Regular express bus services to Kuala Lumpur are available in all major towns and cities, including Singapore and Thailand. The main bus terminal is Terminal Bersepadu Selatan at Bandar Tasik Selatan (TBSBTS). It has the most number of connections compared to other smaller bus terminals around the city. Connections to the north of Malaysia were moved here at the beginning of December 2014. The bus station is located next to the Bandar Tasik Selatan LRT station. Rapid KL bus 690 goes from there (level 1, next to a taxi stand) to Chinatown next to Ankasa Hotel & Spa and the old Pudu Raya bus terminal, all the way by motorway non-stop, 30 minutes and 2 Ringit.



    Getting Around

    By Car

    Driving yourself in Kuala Lumpur is not recommended. Heavy traffic, suicidal motorcyclists and bad signposts at some time make it very difficult, especially if you are used to driving at the righthand side of the road and just arrived in the country. There is no use of getting around by car anyway with the good public transport there is nowadays.

    By Public Transport

    RapidKL is the main operator of bus, metro and monorail services in and around the nation's capital. This map shows the connections between the different rail services in and around the city.

    All RapidKL buses are air-conditioned.

    GoKLPurple line
    Green line
    Free of charge
    City shuttle (Bandar)BxxxRM1.00
    Trunk (Utama)UxxxRM1.00 (within the same zone)
    RM1.90 (across two zones)
    RM2.50 (across three zones)
    RM3.00 (across four zones)
    Local (Tempatan)TxxxRM1.00
    Express (Ekspres)ExxRM3.80

    GoKL is a bus service introduced in 2012 servicing tourists and local population around the city centre area. The buses are equipped with on board wifi, are air-conditioned and are currently free of charge.

    The LRT (Light Rail Transit) has two lines servicing the city:

    Fares for a single trip range from 70 sen to RM5.10.

    The Monorail Line only runs in the city and links the central station (KL Sentral) with the Titiwangsa bus hub.

    The Malayan Railways (Keretapi Tanah Melayu, KTM) operate the KTM Komuter services connecting the suburban areas and neighbouring towns with the city. Fares for a single trip start from RM1.

    All KL taxis are metered and must charge by the following official fare structure:

    First 1 kmRM3.00
    Every subsequent 115 metres or part thereof10 sen
    'Idle' moments (e.g. traffic jam)RM3.00 for the first three minutes, 10 sen for every subsequent 21 seconds or part thereof
    More than 2 passengers20 sen per passenger
    Booking feeRM 2
    Midnight (0000 hrs to 0600 hrs)50% surcharge
    To airportRM10 surcharge
    From airportPrepaid coupon purchased at the airport

    Unfortunately the bad apples amongst the taxis usually concentrate in touristy and busy areas. Many taxis in these places will ask for a flat fare (usually marked higher than it would be) especially during rush hours. Insist on using the meter as all city taxis must use the meter, by official regulations.

    If you managed to get a taxi to use the meter, don't let your guard down yet. Pay attention to the meter as some dishonest drivers are known to have calibrated the meter to run faster than it should. Apart from looking at the taxi odometer, another way to track the distance travelled is to count the number of street light posts the taxi had driven past. Stand-alone street lights (not those on utility poles) in Malaysia are usually placed about 50 metres apart, so a passing of two street lights after the first one (on a junction-less road) equals to about 100 metres. Unscrupulous taxi drivers may also resort to make their meter reading 'jump' by a few ringgit when the passenger is not looking at the meter.

    If you're using a smartphone, install one of these free apps: TaxiMonger and MyTeksi. They help hailing a cab less stressful. The apps will let you book a cab and report your experience direct to the authorities. RM2 booking fee applies.

    By Bike

    Biking, even less so than getting around on foot, is not a good idea, unless you like sweating and keeping your eye on the road all the time instead of the surrounding buildings.

    By Foot

    Due to the heat from the sun during the day, walking farther than a couple of kilometres is usually not preferred. Still, most of Kuala Lumpur is not difficult to navigate on foot. Just be careful when crossing streets and be especially aware of motorcyclists.




    Kuala Lumpur, like most capitals, has the widest selection of restaurants in the country, ranging from small local food stalls to superb international dining experiences. In general: when it is busy, the food is good! And steer clear from food stalls which sells close to nothing.
    Some good websites with abundant lists of restaurants are:




    Kuala Lumpur has quite a vibrant night-life and the Golden Triangle is the epicentre of most of the partying which goes on in the city. Jalan P. Ramlee, just south of KLCC, is Kuala Lumpur's central clubbing area, while the action also spills onto Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Ampang, Jalan Pinang and Jalan Perak. Nearby Bukit Bintang also throbs with action, and its neon-lit nightclubs, many of them with hostesses, certainly have a more Asian feel to them. Heritage Row, in the Tuanku Abdul Rahman district, is fast catching up as a popular nightspot.

    After a night out, Malaysians like to head to Mamak stalls, which offer a range of non-alcoholic beverages like teh tarik (frothed tea) and light food. Most outlets are open 24 hours. They are found all over the city and are a wonderful part of the Malaysian night scene.

    Another trend that has hit Malaysia is the kopitiam fad, a more upmarket version of the traditional Chinese coffee shop. These mostly open during the day and offer some of the best tea and coffee and light meals and snacks.

    If you prefer Western style coffee, there are many coffee outlets in Kuala Lumpur: most of them are part of international and local chains like Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and San Francisco Coffee. Most of them can be found in shopping malls.





    Backpacker hostels are mostly concentrated in the Bukit Bintang and Golden Triangle areas. Prices of a bed range from RM30 (dorm) to RM90 (private room) per night. Budget hotels are also available at the range of RM100 to 150 per room.


    Rooms are available for RM150 to 300 per night.


    Four and five stars hotel room rates in KL are quite cheap by western standards. A standard room starts from RM300 and could go as high as RM1,000 for an executive suite. Some of the international hotel chains in Kuala Lumpur:

    • Hilton Hotel (5-star) - Located across the street from the central station, which has links to the express train to the airport, intercity train services, city metro, taxis, and buses.
    • Shangri-la Hotel (5-star) - This hotel is in the Golden Triangle. It is only five minutes drive or 10 minutes walk to the Petronas Twin Towers.
    • Mandarin Oriental (5-star) - This hotel in located right next to the Petronas Twin Towers.
    • J.W. Marriott Hotel (5-star) - Located at Jalan Bukit Bintang.
    • Traders Hotel (4-star) - This hotel is only a stone's throw away from the Petronas Twin Towers as it is also part of the KLCC development area.
    • Concorde Hotel (4-star) - Hard Rock Cafe is located within this hotel.
    • More accommodation in Kuala Lumpur


    If you are travelling in a larger group for at least 3 to 4 days, you can consider renting an apartment. Some properties in KL are available to rent from their owners on a short term vacation basis. They normally have 2 to 3 bedrooms and shared services.

    You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)





    Keep Connected


    Internet cafés are available in cities and major towns. Wi-Fi hotspots can be found in shopping malls, restaurants, food courts and cafés. Many of these hotspots are provided free-of-charge. Internet cafés can also be found in cities and towns.


    See also: International Telephone Calls

    Malaysia is on the GSM 900/1800 and UMTS (3G) mobile network. If you have an "unlocked" GSM band mobile phone, you can buy a prepaid SIM card and use it with your phone here for cheaper rates instead of roaming here. Prepaid mobile SIM cards are available cheaply at mobile phone shops and 24-hour convenience stores.

    Below are the area codes in Malaysia:

    01Mobile Phones (nationwide)
    02Singapore (special access code to call Singapore)
    03Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Selangor
    04Penang, Perlis, Kedah
    06Negeri Sembilan, Malacca
    080Brunei (special access code for use in Sabah and Sarawak only)
    08xSabah, Sarawak (x determines the region)
    09Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan
    1-300Non-geographical numbers (local call rate)
    1-800Non-geographical numbers (free call from landline, local call rate from mobile phone)

    Area code is not required when calling a number of the same area code. However, it is mandatory when calling from a mobile phone.

    There is no charge for receiving calls on any Malaysian phones. Only the caller is charged for the call made. However, if you're on mobile phone roaming service, you will also be charged for any calls received, by your operator.

    To dial out of Malaysia, use the international access code 00 (zero zero), followed by the country code, followed by the area code (remove the preceding 0, if any), and finally the telephone number.
    e.g. To call London, United Kingdom, dial 00-44-20-xxxx xxxx; or to call Dallas, Texas, United States, dial 00-1-214-xxx xxxx.
    For mobile phones, the plus sign "+" can be used as the international access code.
    e.g. Using the previous scenario, type +44-20-xxxx xxxx or +1-214-xxx xxxx and press the call button.

    The country code for Malaysia is 60. To receive calls from overseas, that person will have to dial the country's international access code, followed by 60 for Malaysia, followed by the area code (remove the preceding 0), followed by the phone number.
    e.g. If your prepaid mobile number is 012-1234567, and someone in the United Kingdom were to call you, the number to dial is 00-60-12-1234567. Those calling you from the United States and Canada will have to dial 011-60-12-1234567.

    The emergency number is 999 and can be dialled from any phone, free of charge. The worldwide standard emergency number for GSM mobile phones, 112, can also be used on a mobile phone, even without a SIM card. Calls to 112 will be routed to 999 centres.


    Pos Malaysia is the national postal service of Malaysia. Rates for sending a standard letter locally is 30 sen (20 gram) to 40 sen (up to 50 gram). International airmail has minimum rates ranging from RM1.00 to RM2.00, depending on destination. It costs 20 sen to send a postcard or aerogramme locally, or 50 sen to send a postcard or aerogramme to anywhere in the world.

    Expedited Mail Service (EMS), branded locally as Poslaju, is available for both domestic and international destinations. Domestic EMS has a next day delivery guarantee. International EMS guarantees mails and parcels to be delivered out of the country by the following day. The time required to arrive at its destination will depend on clearance by authorities and the postal service of the destination country. For most countries, delivery of documents can be done in 3 to 5 days.

    If you need to receive mails or packages from home, there is Poste Restante service available at all General Post Offices (GPO) in the country. There is one GPO in almost every capital city of every state, and in all federal territories. Mails sent from Singapore and Brunei will be retained for one month while mails from all other places will be kept for two months, after which if unclaimed, will be sent to the Dead Letter Office.

    Generally, post offices are open from 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Saturday, except the first Saturday of the month. They are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.


    Electricity voltage in Malaysia is 240V AC 50Hz. The UK 3-pin plug is the standard used in Malaysia. European 2-pin plug can also be used on the 3-pin socket by inserting a screwdriver (or any hard object that fits) into the earth pin hole to open the live and neutral shutters. However, this practice can be hazardous.



    1. 1 Mid-2010 estimate. Department of Statistics, Malaysia. Retrieved on 2011–08–01.

    Quick Facts


    243.65 km²
    1 670 000[1] (city); 6 million (Greater KL)
    • Latitude: 3.15021
    • Longitude: 101.707703

    Accommodation in Kuala Lumpur

    We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Kuala Lumpur searchable right here on Travellerspoint.


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    Kuala Lumpur Travel Helpers

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